Jay Hieron was clearly upset the other day when he was talking to Steve Cofield. The man signed a contract with Strikeforce for one reason — a title shot against Nick Diaz — and the only thing he’s heard since is an offer to fight Nick at DREAM.12 on Oct. 25, which he declined.
Hieron blamed the situation on Nick Diaz, not Strikeforce, but according to Nick’s trainer/manager, Cesar Gracie, Jay is pointing his finger in the wrong direction. He says Strikeforce is to blame, not Nick.
“It has nothing to do with Nick,” Gracie told MMAWeekly.com Monday afternoon. “He doesn’t care who he fights, and that includes Jay Hieron. It’s all Strikeforce.”
Hieron said it’s too late at this point to fight on the Nov. 7 CBS card since he needs a proper training camp for such a big fight, the same reason he turned down the DREAM.12 offer. Gracie however says CBS is still an option, at least for them, but December is more realistic.
“Realistically, Nick will fight in December, but we did want him to fight in November, ideally, and that is still possible that he will fight on the CBS card, as of yesterday,” said Gracie. “They’re trying to get that through, and they’ve got to work with the executives at Showtime.”
While Gracie was quick to point the finger at Strikeforce, he’s not entirely sure what the problem is. He suspects it might have to do with Showtime’s disapproval of Nick’s behavior back in August when he failed to take his pre-fight drug test. If that’s the case, they want to be released from their contract so Nick can fight in the UFC.
“I think that the problem is Showtime executives not letting him fight on (the November) card,” said Gracie. “And not necessarily because they’re mad at him, I mean, who cares if they are, good.
“If they’re mad at him and they’re not letting him fight somewhere because of that, please release him from his contract and you’ll see him in the UFC a month later. I don’t know if that’s the case. I’m assuming it’s because they want him to headline the December card, they want some star power on the December card. If it’s because Showtime is a little irked at him, then here, dude, don’t get irked anymore, let him fight somewhere else.”
Whatever the problem is, these guys really need to get their shit together. Strikeforce’s big CBS debut takes place in 32 days and so far, the only confirmed fights on the card are Fedor-Rogers and Mayhem-Shields. Gegard Mousasi still has no clue who he’s fighting. Cris Cyborg may or may not fight depending on if she gets cleared by a doctor. Fabricio Werdum is apparently “likely” for the card, but his opponent is unclear. Names such as Bobby Lashley and Antonio Silva are being thrown around, but nothing looks concrete yet.
For such a major event, you would think the televised card would at least be set by now. Are they not organized? Are there too many cooks in the kitchen? Are DREAM’s fight booking practices rubbing off on them? I don’t know, I’m sure the card will eventually come together and the show will come off well, but for a deal that seemed promising earlier this year, it’s now starting to feel a lot like all the other organizations and partnerships that failed in the past.